ARTICLES: 2006–20022019-05-16T19:02:17+00:00

Fight the power

The Guardian, July 2, 2004

By James Verini

Only a quarter century into its history, hip-hop has not only taken over American popular culture, but it has also gained a surprising respect among the intelligentsia. The lyrics of Tupac Shakur are dissected in university classrooms; former Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has a political talk-show on the radio. Among professional African-American intellectuals, big […]

Out of site

The Guardian, November 6, 2004

By James Verini

In Hollywood there are no real distinctions between business and social life, and dating – like acting – has its methods. The latest development: judging your love interest according to how he or she shows up on the Internet Movie Database. Doing research on someone you’re considering dating is a generally acceptable modern practice, of […]

War Games

The Guardian, April 19, 2005

By James Verini

Imagine yourself, one balmy morning, on patrol in the Sadr City section of Baghdad. You and your US army unit advance along abandoned streets strewn with the burned-out shells of cars. Minarets peek out over dingy apartment blocks. Suddenly, a young Iraqi boy appears in the street. You halt, guns raised. “Milk!” he yells, holding […]

Hooked on ‘Rent’

Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2002

By James Verini

“Seasons of Love.” “Another Day.” “One Song Glory.” “Take Me or Leave Me.”

To most people, these are just a series of sentence fragments, or possibly the names of Elton John’s cats. But to a young woman named Kimi Sasaki, and to a cadre of devoted musical fans like her, these are the passwords to […]

Rubber Match: Which condom is best?

Slate, March 1, 2005

By James Verini

When the list of the world’s great inventions is tallied, the wheel, the combustion engine, and the computer chip invariably make the list. The condom, amazingly, never does. This seems an injustice. The condom has been around in some form at least since the Roman times, probably longer, and to this day remains the most popular […]

Supersize It: As our waistlines expand our stuff expands too

Slate, March 3, 2004

By James Verini

George Farquhar once said that necessity was the mother of invention, but we know that to be nonsense, really: Who needs an iPod that holds 10,000 songs? There is, however, one area of life in which technology keeps step with nature—the size of things. As we Americans are getting bigger (the Centers […]

More than skin deep; Rappers covet Mister Cartoon’s tattoos

Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2002

By James Verini

At almost 9 on a recent Saturday night, the normally placid face of Mister Cartoon, tattoo artist, was showing signs of impatience. He’d been waiting all evening in his studio, on the edge of this gritty warehouse district behind Staples Center, for the arrival of a young rapper named Fate-Al, who was stuck somewhere […]

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